It is with deep sadness we announce the passing of Fr John TRAVERS SMA. Fr John, a native of Cookstown, Co. Tyrone, spent the last years of his life at SMA Dromantine, Newry, Co. Down. He passed away on 2 October, 2017, peacefully, at Blackrock Road, Cork, following a short illness.
Fr John was ordained in 1956 and ministered for sixteen years in Ibadan Prefecture (now an Archdiocese), Nigeria where he was noted as a builder of churches and schools. Earlier this year a Community Centre was dedicated to Fr John in Ibadan, a sign of the affection in which the people still held him, forty five years after his departure from there. Following a car accident he was unable to return to Africa and ministered in Shrewsbury diocese (England) and, for nineteen years, in parishes in the Archdiocese of Armagh.
He retired to Dromantine in 1997. During his years there he was responsible for the erection of the beautiful Stations of the Cross in the grounds. (The Stations were a gift from the Alexian Brothers when they closed their House in Warrenpoint). He spent many happy hours wood-turning and sold his ‘pieces’ at the annual Dromantine Funday.
Fr John was the beloved brother of Betty (Vickers) and the late Kathleen (Hearne) and Nancy (Jones). He is mourned by his sister, nieces, nephews, grandnieces, grandnephews, relatives and friends and his SMA confreres. He is also mourned by Cardinal Sean Brady, Archbishop Eamon Martin, the clergy and people of the Archdiocese of Armagh.
Fr John’s remains will repose at the Society of African Missions, Dromantine, Newry, from 6pm to 10pm on Wednesday evening, October 4, 2017. His removal will be at 11.15am on Thursday, October 5, from Dromantine to Holy Trinity Church, Chapel Street, Cookstown, for concelebrated Funeral Mass at 1pm, followed by burial in St Luran’s cemetery, Cookstown.
Requiescat in Pace.